A Correction and odds and ends

I made a mistake in my last post about the Calhoun offense. A coach told me that the offense uses two types of blocking, rule and zone. I wrote that the Sandcrabs use only two blocking schemes thinking it to be the case. The next day, Coach Whitaker let me know they actually use five rule schemes and one zone scheme for a total of six. I guess its a danger of drawing too many conclusions about a program after only one day. It’s especially embarrassing, because it’s an oversight I should never had made, having spent 22 years coaching the offensive line.

To better explain; Rule blocking gives every linemen a rule that lets them determine who to block on a particular play. For example, a right guard might have a progression of on, over, near backer as a rule, telling him his first priority to to block a down linemen in front of him, if there isn’t one, block someone in front of him and off the ball (usually a linebacker), if that isn’t there he will block the closest linebacker to the play. Zone blocking gives every linemen a zone to block where they are responsible to move anything that comes into it and usually involves adjacent linemen working together to get push on a down linemen.

Six schemes are actually quite a few and this undercuts the simplicity case I tried to make in the previous post. When it comes to the offensive line at Calhoun, there is nothing simple about what they do. I’ve always believed offensive linemen to be the smartest players on the field and studies back this up. The Sandcrab offense is so focused on running the ball that a huge part of their recent success is directly due to the offensive line and I’ve been very impressed with them on film and in the last three days of practice. How well CHS does this year will have a lot to do with how this inexperienced unit (4 1st year starters) plays. So far they have been very effective.

Below is a comment I recieved and the explanation of another reference from my last post. I mentioned HUDL several times, but haven’t explained what it is.

From Mark Howell:

Great post, coach. I’ve never heard of HUDL and, the more I think about it, I have no idea how high school coaches shoot a game. I know they watch a boatload of game film but never considered the source. So here’s a few questions: 1) How many cameras are typically used to cover a game? 2) Where are they deployed? and 3) How is game film exchanged between teams?

No doubt the internet has made all the video tech more accessible. I’m sure they’re not shooting grainy Super8 and splicing with an exacto like they did back in the day.


HUDL is the relatively new scouting software that the last few years has basically monopolized the market by buying up its competition. Its internet based, so coaches can access their film from any place they have an internet connection. Coaches use it to organize game and practice film (intercut the three angles), trade film with other coaches, breakdown all the details of a play (down/distance,,formation, play,,,etc) and finally to look at tendencies they might use in gameplans.
Most teams in Texas use three cameras; 2 sideline (wide & tight) and an endzone shot.
Teams used to trade film, then VHS tapes, then DVD’s by meeting parking lots on Saturday morning. Now everybody uploads it to HUDL, then allow the other team to download it. Much better method for teams who are far away from each other. Where I’m from we would trade only wide shot film,, in Texas the standard seems to be trading wide and tight shots, nobody trades endzone shots, that angle gives so much info. about linesplits, defensive alignments and blocking schemes, things that coaches don’t really like to give so easily.

Great week so far in Port Lavaca. I’ve learned a lot about the history, the turnaround and what the rise of the Sandcrabs has meant to the school and community of Port Lavaca. All three weeks of the regular season I’ve reached a tipping point where I know I had enough of the story to write a competent chapter for my book. I reached that point yesterday after a great interview with local contractor Randy Boyd. I want to thank Mr. Boyd, Mark Howell, Stephan Phillips, Lina Moore and the coaches and administrators at Calhoun for giving me some of their time.

Tomorrow: 2 freshmen games and Friday the big homecoming game against Somerset. It’s going to be a lot of fun.

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